70 meth labs found in Bellaire

BELLAIRE – The Belmont County Drug Task Force uncovered an abandoned house that contained 70 one-pot meth labs Sunday evening.

A Belmont County deputy responded to a call to a nearby residence when he was informed about the house, which is located at 57180 High Ridge Road, just outside of Bellaire.

The deputy noticed that the door was kicked in. Upon entering the house, he discovered the labs and called in the Drug Task Force. The task force received the call just after 10 p.m. and were still on the scene this morning.

Due to the size of the labs, Chempak, which is a contractor for the Drug Enforcement Administration, was called in for assistance.

No one has been taken into custody, but the task force currently has a person of interest.

This is reportedly the biggest meth lab bust that the Drug Task Force has dealt with.

“This has been a very large operation. Our main goal right now is to find the people responsible for this operation,” said Belmont County Drug Task Force Commander John McFarland. “The meth demand is moving faster and getting larger in Belmont County. The Drug Task Force will continue to be proactive and take an aggressive approach at dealing with the people responsible for these meth labs and other drug dealings through the county.”

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation also assisted the Drug Task Force.

“My guys have been at this all night and will be dealing with it half of the day today even though one is on vacation and another one has the day off,” said McFarland.

Van Dyne can be reached at kvandyne@timesleaderonline.com.